USA mulls 25% tariff on Chinese goods worth $200bn

A Buddhist monk votes at a polling station during a general election in Phnom Penh Cambodia July 2018

A Buddhist monk votes at a polling station during a general election in Phnom Penh Cambodia July 2018

USA business groups have expressed angst about Trump's approach, warning it could drive up costs for companies and consumers.

Donald Trump might be about to heat up his trade spat with Beijing.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said on Thursday that China will advise the United States to change its attitude, stop making false accusations, and return to the land of reason.

American plans to escalate a trade dispute with China have unnerved global stock markets.

Much of American industry and many members of Trump's own Republican Party have expressed outrage but have so far been unable to thwart Trump's trade policies.

The U.S. imposed 25 percent tariffs on an initial $34 billion of imports from China on July 6, which then led China to respond with similar sized tariffs on U.S. products, according to Reuters.

"China thinks that negotiations based on mutual respect and mutual benefit are the efficient way to solve trade conflicts", the ministry said in a statement.

The United States and China trade goods and services worth about $650 billion each year, the largest trading relationship in the world between two countries.

Trump administration officials say the U.S.'s robust economy gives it the high ground in the trade battle against China, which is showing signs of an economic slowdown.

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China appears to have stripped back its imports of USA crude oil to near zero for September, having taken about 333,000 barrels per day in the first six months of the year, according to vessel-tracking data.

US President Donald Trump has reportedly rejected a plan to levy tariffs of 10 per cent on an additional $200 billion of imports from China and ordered aides to prepare a proposal for tariffs at the higher rate of 25 per cent.

The 25 per cent tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports would come on top of the existing penalties on $34 billion worth of products and an additional $16 billion that are scheduled to go into effect soon, The New York Times reported.

The $200 billion list of goods targeted for tariffs - which also include Chinese tilapia fish, printed circuit boards and lighting products - would have a bigger impact on consumers than previous rounds of tariffs.

Increasing the rates to 25 percent could make them significantly more painful.

Many U.S. ports, both air and sea, are witnessing record import volumes. China immediately vowed to retaliate though at the same time urged the USA to act rationally and return to talks to resolve the dispute.

"American consumers and businesses are now feeling the pinch of increased costs", said Jose Castaneda, a spokesman for the council. He also has threatened a further round of tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods. It has typically taken several weeks after the closing of public comments for tariffs to be formally activated.

Hearings are scheduled for Aug. 20 to 23 and the comment period has been extended to September 5 from late August, according to Lighthizer's office.

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